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Law firms on a re-jig spree in San Diego

From Birch, Stewart, Kolasch, & Birch; Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz; to Wilson Petty Kosmo & Turner, many major San Diego law firms are in revamping mode.

The national intellectual property law firm Birch, Stewart, Kolasch, & Birch moved to Del Mar Heights from its Falls Church, Va., location. The move, though not an overnight development, stemmed from the firm's desire to tap the area's biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. The new office will concentrate on non-litigation intellectual property work. Though at present the firm has four local professionals in its IP team, it is keeping its door open for more. Its expertise lies in biotechnology, chemistry, computer science, diagnostics, electronic technologies, health care, mechanical technologies, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals.

Meanwhile, San Diego-based Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz appointed Prescilla Dugard to head its newly created practice area of Land Use and Real Estate Law. Dugard, who provides counsel during all stages of land use, along with government liaising and legislative advocacy, is an erstwhile San Diego city attorney and assistant city attorney.

Again, Wilson Petty Kosmo & Turner, litigation specialists, beefed up its Product Liability Practice with the induction of two associates, Robert C. Rodriguez and Gita M. Varughese. Being on the Product Liability team, Rodriguez will concentrate mainly on the defense of national automotive manufacturers. Wilson Petty serves its clients on matters related to product liability, litigation on employment and general business, warranty law, health care, and media law.

Fish & Richardson, another San Diego-based law firm has added two more attorneys, David Kleinsmith and Jennifer Schmied to its roster, which already has 45 attorneys and more than a dozen specialists, advisers and law clerks. Kleinsmith joined as counsel in the corporate, licensing, and patent prosecution practices of the firm, and Schmied is already a member of the firm's business litigation practice.

Another major player in the area, Latham & Watkins, added 25 new partners and promoted one lawyer to the firm's five departments spread over its 12 offices. The firm promoted its existing attorney Patricia Guerrero, an environmental litigation expert concentrating on criminal and civil government enforcement matters, toxic torts, natural resource damages, Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act litigation, to partner. Latham & Watkins employs more than 100 attorneys in its downtown offices.

Kamenstein joins McDermott Will & Emery
Adam D. Kamenstein, a U.S. Attorney's Office veteran, joined McDermott Will & Emery in its Los Angeles office. Kamenstein will serve the firm as a partner in the Trial Department as well as a member of the Firm's White-Collar Criminal Defense Practice Group. The firm hopes to gain leverage on Kamenstein's vast experience in government-related investigations, including corporate fraud, government fraud, public corruption, civil rights violations, narcotics trafficking, and organized crime. The move has strengthened the firm's trial litigation practice which has nearly 20 partners, most of whom are former senior prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney's Offices.


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